Macerating Toilets: Expert Installation Guide And Common Problems

If you currently do have or wish to have a macerating toilet installed, you might want to find out about its installation as well as common problems associated with these toilet types.

This article is written to inform you of all of that and more. Here, you’ll learn all about the basic functioning, components, as well as common issues these types of toilets have.

How Does A Macerating Toilet Work?

Macerating toilets are special types of toilets that come attached or installed with a macerating unit behind located externally behind the bowl (for older models) or incorporated into a single piece.

What it does is that it liquefies waste with the help of powerful blades. Such waste is then pumped out to the main drain line through a pipe.

The Working Principles; an Up-Flush System

An up-flush toilet works in pretty much the same way as a standard toilet.

The only difference is that after waste is flushed down, instead of flowing directly through the drain line and into the main sewer line or the septic tank, with the help of gravity, it enters into a pump.

This pump that’s attached to the system houses a macerator. This can be considered as a form of garbage disposal.

What it does is that, like garbage disposal systems in your sinks, it grinds up or liquefies waste before pumping same up a PVC piping system; hence the name up-flush system.

When it gets to the desired destination, liquefied waste is expelled or allowed to flow down to the main drain line via gravity.

Newer Designs come as Single-Piece Systems

You shouldn’t be confused when you can’t find a separate macerating unit behind your toilet. Improvements have been made to incorporate the macerating unit into the toilet.

So, newer designs will mostly come as single-piece systems with no external extensions or additional units.

Installing Macerating Toilet Systems

The starting point to having a functional and smooth-running macerating toilet is by ensuring a good installation job is done. Without the right type of job, it won’t be long before you begin to have issues with the system.

You should have a professional install your macerating toilet as you can’t depend on random handymen for such tasks.

Macerating Toilet Problems Can Develop

After a new installation job, macerating toilets can serve for long periods without any problems. However, these systems can eventually develop faults.

Faults can come from the breakdown of system components among several other possibilities. So, what’s the nature of the problem(s) you should expect?

  • Upflush Toilet Problems

Quite many scenarios can play out.

These mostly arise when proper care of the system isn’t taken. Issues may include a running macerator with no water being pumped, as well as tripping electronics.

Other possible issues you might encounter include a foul-smelling macerator, and a macerator that refuses to turn off.

More issues you may encounter include an automatic start, and also a vibrating macerator that makes a loud noise. Any of these signs alert you of trouble.

You’ll need to perform basic checks and call a technician to have it fixed.

Let’s discuss what these macerating toilet system problems may mean.

i. Running Macerator with no Water being Pumped

This type of problem is most common in winter when frost conditions are common.

Here, waste pipes could get frozen which prevents the pumping of waste. This is a job for professional technicians to handle. They take several actions to defrost the pipes and get the system working.

While performing such repairs, measures are put in place to prevent or limit the possibility of future re-occurrence.

ii. Tripping Electricals

Electrical faults could be the cause of your malfunctioning macerator toilets. Here, interruptions with the circuits could be due to contact with water.

Water leaks could lead to such trip-offs of the system. You’ll need to be extra cautious when it comes to the tripping of electrical components of the macerator.

Only an electrician or other certified technician should be allowed to handle such a job. As a novice, you expose yourself to the danger of electrocution when you attempt to fix tripping electrical components of a macerating toilet.

iii. Foul Smelling Macerator

Although macerating units in toilets are designed for enhanced waste disposals, they’re made in such a way that little to no smell is perceived during the process.

However, when you begin to perceive a foul odor coming from your macerator toilet, then it’s time to seek expert help.

So, what’s the possible cause for foul-smelling macerating toilets? It’s mainly caused by steady use without a deep clean. Over time, your macerator unit accumulates dirt from the grounding process of waste.

The foul odor you perceive is a sign that the unit needs to be cleaned.

If you feel this type of job is gross, you might want to consider calling a plumber or other professionals to carry out deep cleaning.

If you wish to perform cleanups yourself, your unit should have all the basic cleaning instructions.

iv. Macerator doesn’t Turn Off

Is your macerator still running without turning off?

This is a sign of trouble that will require identifying the cause and fixing it. A constantly running macerator toilet may likely be due to a misfiring micro switch, as well as a blocked pump or macerator.

Other potential root causes of macerating toilets that won’t turn off include blockage of outline pipe as well as damage to the rubber membrane.

All of these issues are best handled by a trained and experienced technician.

However, persons with the right technical skills will be able to provide the right fixes.

v. Automatic Start

A toilet macerator that suddenly starts without the system being in use isn’t a good sign.

The system isn’t designed to start on its own. So, your best approach to having it fixed is by calling the right technician for the job.

Technicians offer all sorts of fixes to macerator units in toilets that start on their own.

vi. Vibrating Macerator with Loud Noise

Is your macerating toilet making loud noises? It’s a clear sign of malfunction that needs to be checked. You’ll need to turn the system off and call for professional assistance.

If you’ve read to this point, then you should know the workings of macerating toilets. We’ve discussed both installations as well as common problems encountered with the system.

The help of technicians is needed in resolving practically all the issues mentioned.

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